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|2nd Nov 2010, 7:25 PM||The Untold Story About Roe of the Forest People. Epilogue 3/1 2018 #1|
This is a story that was originally inspired by Enayla's beautiful skins. As you may notice English is not my native language.
Very long ago, in the ancient times before the lives of elves and humans were completely separated, a series of events took place. These events were of such a magnitude that they were written down in the history books and remembered for several hundreds of years before they were believed to be just fairytales and finally completely forgotten in the flow of time. The complete story about why the lives of elves and humans became separate has, however, never been told before. Therefore it is time to tell the story about how a little insignificant creature named Roe came to change the history of humans and elves.
It was summer and Otter of the Forest people was happy. In the summer life was easy. The air was filled with the wonderful scent of flowers and grass and the birds were singing. She and Wolf had been very lucky to find this settlement with such good hunting grounds. It would probably take a very long time before either of them would have to be hungry again.
When little Roe was born next summer, Otter’s and Wolf’s happiness was complete.
“She's the most perfect little creature I have ever seen,” Wolf said enchanted. “We will take care of her and love her so that she will be the happiest girl in the world”.
When Otter hold her little daughter in her arms she knew that from now on her life would be completely changed. Everything would circle around little Roe. The thought that something dangerous could ever happen to her child was the most scaring thought Otter could imagine. Far from every child in the forest lived to see their first birthday.
Just as Wolf had said, Roe grew up to be a very happy little girl. Her bright laughter filled Otter’s and Wolf’s hearts with joy. The little family lived a life free from worries and full of happiness.
The same day that Roe was born another baby was born far away. No one could ever guess that the destinies of these two babies would be connected and that this would affect both the human kingdom and the elves’ realms. At this time humans and the forest people did not even know of each other’s existence. Queen Cecilia hold her son with tenderness. She and King Magnus had lost all their other children as infants and they had almost given up the hope to have an heir to the throne when Alexander was born. He seemed to be an unusually strong and healthy child so Cecilia started to hope that maybe finally she would be allowed to keep her baby.
“Now there is hope for our kingdom again” King Magnus said happily. “My brothers and their sons can stop their intrigues about which one of them that will take over after me. When Alexander becomes king there will be no wars that tear our kingdom apart”.
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|3rd Nov 2010, 8:55 AM||Chapter 2. The Banquet #2|
“I can see that you’re truly happy to have a new nephew, brother.” The irony in Karl’s words was very obvious. “I believe that you have to make new plans for little Erik’s future now that he cannot become king” Karl continued.
“Well we don’t know about that yet. Alexander is still very young and our big brother Magnus has not been very lucky with his children,” Birger replied quietly.
“I think you may be disappointed this time,” Karl replied. “I have heard that young Alexander is a very strong baby.”
“If you think I am disappointed, what about you?” Birger looked his brother steady in the eyes. “Don’t you think I know that you had your own plans for the future?” “I am older than you and I do believe that Erik has much more potential to be a real king than a son raised by our soft brother Magnus.” Birger kept his eyes steady on Karl and his voice was sharp.
Karl snorted, demonstrating that he did not agree about who the future king should be.
“Although I have had a pleasant time here in your county Karl, I think it is time for me to return home early tomorrow. Thank you for your hospitality. Good night brother. I think we will talk more about this subject in the future.”
Birger and Karl, Magnus’ two younger brothers were considered to be hard and cruel to the farmers who worked on their lands. More than once, Magnus had stopped them from taxing the farmers what he considered to be too hard.
Birger and Karl were not particularly good friends but they had a common interest that one on their sons would become the future king. Until Prince Alexander was born this future prospect was within reach. Although Birger and Karl did not support Magnus, they had never dared to challenge him because he was very popular and had the people on his side.
When Prince Alexander had survived his first year King Magnus arranged a big banquet to the honour of the crown prince according to the old customs. Many important guests were invited, including Birger and Karl. The most honoured guests were, however, the king and the queen of the elven realms and their suite. The celebration of a new human crown prince was an event of such importance that the elves would leave their realms to visit the human kingdom and once again confirm the ancient union between the king and queen of the light elves and the human kingdom.
Elves and humans were friends at this time, although it was not often they met. A banquet together with elves was something very unusual for the human guests.
“It is like it was only yesterday that I attended the banquet to honour your grandfather when he became one year old,” Queen Eliene said to King Magnus. “Your world is so changeable. There are very seldom births of new babies in our realm.”
”I understand that the birth your daughter less than two years ago must have been an enormous delight for all light elves,” king Magnus replied.
“Yes, princess Aliendre is a wonderful child” the queen of the elves replied her face lit up with a mothers pride. “I anticipate, that her powers will be great when she grows up.”
This made King Magnus feel a bit uncomfortable. The magic powers of the light elves scared him a little.
“Of course Aliendre is still much to young for such a long journey as to your kingdom but when she grows up I am sure that she will want to learn more about the human world that is so different from ours.”
“Of course Prince Alexander is more than welcome to visit us when he becomes older, just as his ancestors have before him,” King Eraldor continued.
Queen Cecilia knew that this invitation was a great honour but also expected, and one of the reasons that the elves always participated in the celebration of of a new human crown prince. It was a long tradition that the human heirs of the throne would spend some time with the elves during their education. This strengthened the ancient union between elves and humans but was also very valuable as the elves had deep knowledge about so many things that were not known by humans. Cecilia thanked politely for the invitation on staggering elvish language. She did not speak the beautiful elven language as well as her husband, who of course had visited the elves for some time when he was young. The elves both fascinated and scared Cecilia.
Sometimes during the banquet the older elves could sit completely still and quiet with their eyes looking at some distant place. With their supernatural beauty they looked almost like statues during these moments. The impression was strengthened by the fact that they did not blink and barely seemed to breathe while they seemed distant. The thought that many generations of human kings had visited the same elven king and queen was strange. Elves and humans were truly different Queen Cecilia thought.
Although Alexander was too young to attend the banquet that was hold to his honour he had of course to be shown and presented to King Eraldor and Queen Eliene. There were very few children in the elven realms and Queen Eliene was completely charmed by the little prince who was just a few months younger than her own daughter.
When Eliene reached out her hand to touch Alexander she was suddenly overwhelmed by a strong feeling. Dark clouds seemed to gather in the sky and she felt a grief deeper that she had imagined was possible. She quickly withdraw her hand from the boy and the feeling disappeared. There was something disastrous in this little boy’s destiny that would also affect her and the elves. Luckily Cecilia had not noticed the change in Elienes expression but Eraldor had seen and understood that Eliene with her powers had foreseen something fearful in the future. He could not understand how anything bad could be linked to this little prince, because his own powers told him that the boy had a good and honest heart.
The prince had a very thorough education. He had a staff of teachers in different subjects but his own father also participated actively in his education.
“I want to play instead,” Alexander complained.
“You can play when you have translated all the words on the sheet to elvish language,” Magnus replied merciless and Alexander sighed deeply.
“It is much more fun with riding lessons and lessons in sword fight than to sit at a desk.” Alexander’s horse Galaxy nodded and agreed as always with his little rider. “You are the best birthday gift I ever had. We will win every tournament as soon as I am old enough to participate. Mum says it is too dangerous for me but you and I, we don’t care.” The horse snorted which Alexander interpreted as a very obvious “yes”. His horse understood him better than anyone else. For a little while Alexander lost himself in dreams about future glory in the jousting field.
|4th Nov 2010, 5:23 PM||Chapter 3. The Big Forest People Meeting #3|
Roe hold her breath. She was very close now and the wild boar did still not know she was there. If only she was older and allowed to hunt large preys for real! All she could do now was to practise her skills in tracking and moving without making a sound. Sometimes she could come so close to an animal that she could touch it. Of course some animals were better not to touch; she had learned this the hard way. In fact, it was best that this wild boar never realised she was close to it at all. She defied all her parent’s exhortations to be careful. Hunting in the way forest people did was definitely not without dangers but Roe enjoyed testing her own limits. It was inevitable that she would get smaller wounds every now and then but miraculously she was never seriously injured and she became more and more fearless. Although her parents constantly feared for their daughter’s safety they were also very proud of their skilful and brave child.
“What have you been up to today?” her father asked.
”Nothing, just walking around,” Roe shrugged her shoulders. She figured that it was best for her father to not know that she had been tracking wild boars. It was strange that this strong and brave man was so easily scared when it came to her. He should know that she could take care of herself.
One of Roe’s strongest childhood memories was the large Forest people meeting. She had only a few times before met others of her kind when she walked far away in the forest with her parents. Her parents taught her good manners and how greet other people. These spontaneous meeting were always very brief. After polite greetings the different groups parted and went in opposite directions.
"It is very rude to intrude on someone else’s hunting grounds. We forest people always respect each other,” Wolf told her.
The large meeting was something completely new for Roe. She had never seen so many of her own kind at the same time before.
Everyone ate and laughed together. There were different competitions. At night when everyone danced to the rhythm of drums in the light of the fires, Roe felt like she had been transferred to some other magical place far away from real life. She thought that she could feel the presence of the spirits closer than ever before.
Next evening an old man told stories by the fire.
“He is very old, probably more than 60 winters and has seen and heard many things”, Otter said to Roe.
“Worst of all creatures in the world are the cruel humans” the storyteller said in a dramatic voice. “They look similar to the elves but are completely different and mortal just like us. But unlike us they have many children so they spread everywhere. They destroy the forest so that our people have to flee from our hunting grounds. There are no other creatures that are as cruel as them. Animals are kept as prisoners and humans kill as often as they can, not only for food.” The storyteller told many stories about the humans’ cruelty.
“Do humans exist for real?” Roe asked her mother when she was about to fall asleep in Otter’s arms.
“I don’t know”, Otter replied slowly. “But you don’t have to be afraid. If they really do exist they must be very, very far away. I have never met anyone who has seen a human. You know, I think that the storyteller sometimes makes up stories just to entertain us.”
But Roe was not reassured. She had nightmares about humans who came to destroy her forest so that she and her parents had to flee from their home.
|6th Nov 2010, 10:39 AM||Chapter 4. Roe meets Thorundur #4|
A few days after Roe had returned home after the meeting she had a shock. She was following an interesting track from a group of deers when suddenly a pale boy stood right before her, like he had grown out of the ground. He was looking directly at her. This must be a human boy! Roe panicked. She was really scared but she knew better than to show her fear. Her father had told her over and over again that showing fear was the best way to get attacked. “Always act as you are in total control of things no matter how you feel inside,” he had told her so many times. Roe gathered herself. After all, the boy didn’t really look dangerous at all.
Roe remembered her good manners and bowed. She thought that being polite could never hurt, although humans probably did not know about such things.
“I am Roe of the forest people, Wolf’s and Otter’s daughter," she said politely.
The pale boy with the strange blue eyes smiled happily. “I am Thorundur and I’m a light elf. I'm on a fishing tour with my brother but he's so boring so I went away on my own for a little while,” he said.
The boy spoke so fast so Roe could barely get what he said. But she had very clearly heard that he was a light elf. Of course, she thought. She knew that elves sometimes walked in the forest although she had never met one before. Elves were not dangerous. How silly she had been to think that the boy was a human! Humans probably didn’t exist after all.
The boy had a funny but pleasant accent. Roe remembered that the storyteller had said that once in the beginning of times it was the elves that had taught the forest people their language. Roe was thrilled. Like other children of her kind she was not used to have a playmate.
“We can go tracking together she said," but felt suddenly a little shy. What if the elf thought she was boring?
“That sounds fun,” he said quickly with a bright smile. “But I have another idea, lets sneak on my brother. He's only fifty years old but so booring. I bet that he will not notice us until we 're really close." Thorundur told Roe that he lived far away with his parents but was staying with his brother for a while. “Mum and Dad think it will be good for me to spend a year with my brother and aunt. They think I will learn to behave better,” Thorundur said with a smile that showed that he had no intention at all to learn how to behave. “Hey, do you live here somewhere? Maybe we can play every day?”
Roe and Thorundur had much fun sneaking on Toraldor, Thorundur’s brother, who was fishing in a small lake not far away. But of course they couldn’t help giggling after a while and were revealed.
“You little rascal,” Toraldor said with a stern voice to his brother, but his smile showed that he was not angry at all. He hugged his little brother and Roe noticed that there was much love between the two brothers. They looked so much alike, even their clothes were the same. “Are you not going to introduce your friend?” Toraldor asked with a look at Roe.
“This is my friend Roe, she's from the Forest people,” Thorundur answered with a pride that made Roe feel very good.
“I didn’t know there was any of your kind here” Toraldor said to Roe. “I am pleased to meet you Roe. It will be good for Thorundur to have a friend here.”
Thorundur and Roe played almost every day. Roe taught Thorundur to track and to move silently but he was not as good as her. He often scared the animals before they got very close because he just couldn’t be quiet but Roe had more fun than ever.
Roe could talk with Thorundur about everything. He told her about his life with the elves.
“My brother’s wife is a distant relative to the King and Queen,” he said with some pride.
But Roe didn’t really understand what being king and queen meant so Thorundur had to try to explain but was a little annoyed when Roe laughed because she thought it was silly to have a king and queen. Then he agreed with her. Why didn’t the elves live like the forest people? he thought. Roe taught Thorundur about the life in the forest. She was surprised to find out that Thorundur had no idea that everyone was part of the forest and that spirits in the forest gave people food and shelter if you respected them.
"The forest is our mother," Roe explained.
When the winter came they couldn’t see each other as often as before because when the snow was deep it was difficult to move in the forest and if snow fall was heavy it could even be dangerous to go far away from home. But when the weather was fine they played and had more fun than ever in the snow. Roe had the best time of her life when she had Thorundur as a friend. Everyday was full of fun when they were together.
One day when they met in the forest Thorundur looked very sad. “I have to go home,” he sobbed and Roe thought her heart would break. Thorundur noted that Forest people cried without any tears.
“My parents have come to take me home again and they will not let me stay any longer even though I begged them.” The sorrow in Thorundur’s voice was heartbreaking.
“I will come back one day”, Thorundur said when he hugged his friend one last time. “It’s like you’re my twin sister. I have never had so much fun.”
“Neither have I,” Roe sobbed. “I will miss you so much.”
|9th Nov 2010, 11:21 PM||#5|
Join Date: Aug 2010
This was extremely good. The pictures in particular impressed me. I would say that they have been the best pictures I've ever seen as an accompaniment to a Sim's story I've ever seen. Good to have some more fantasy here, and I hope you continue with your great tale.
|11th Nov 2010, 2:43 AM||#6|
Join Date: Jul 2006
Hmmm....but isn't the elven child female? =3 Does that mean Thorundur is really a girl?!
|11th Nov 2010, 9:50 PM||#7|
Thank you both for reading. Thorundur is definitely a boy but there is also an elven princess, Aliendre, but she has only been mentioned briefly so far. Next chapter is in progress and will be about Alexander.
|13th Nov 2010, 11:48 PM||Chapter 5. Alexander and Erik #8|
Alexander enjoyed his privileged life. He was popular and had a reputation to be handsome and charming.
Although Alexander had to spend much time on his education there was also plenty of time for pleasure. His favourite pleasure was sport games of different kinds. He was still too young to be allowed to participate in the games himself but he still dreamed about the day that he would participate in the competitions.
One day Alexander’s cousin Erik came to spend some time in the royal castle. Queen Cecilia was not thrilled over the idea to have the son of her husband’s brother in the household and close to her son. She did not trust Erik at all.
“What harm can it do to have him here? After all he’s family. The best that can happen is that Erik becomes Alexander’s friend,” Magnus said but Cecilia was still not convinced.
Just as Magnus had hoped, Erik and Alexander became good friends. They both enjoyed all kinds of sports that were considered proper for a noble man of this time. Erik was older than Alexander and the better of them when they practised the arts of fighting but Alexander was more dedicated in his practise and could spend hours polishing his technique with the sword.
They were both handsome and together they became the centre of social life for the young and privileged. Alexander’s friends had been carefully chosen from the most influential families in the kingdom. Together with Erik, Alexander spent more time than ever on pleasures together with his friends.
I think they are looking at us,” Erik tilted his head in the direction of a group of young maids that were whispering and giggling together. Erik stretched himself with a self-conscious smile on his lips.
It was obvious that the young girl’s eyes were hooked on Alexander. When he looked in their direction they started too giggle hysterically.
Alexander’s cheeks turned slightly red. Although he was born a prince, too much attention sometimes made him feel a bit uncomfortable.
“I guess being a prince increase your attractiveness.” It was meant as a joke but Erik couldn’t completely disguise the underlying bitterness in his voice. Although Erik also was popular and older than Alexander, it was always Alexander who got most of the attention and admiration.
“I don’t think I like the influence Erik has on our son.” Cecilia said to Magnus. “They spend too much time on pleasures and Alexander must think about his future duties and spend more time on education.”
“I wouldn’t worry,” Magnus replied. “I’m happy that they are such good friends. My brothers have only caused trouble for me but perhaps it can be different between Alexander and his cousins. But you may be right that Alexander spends too much time on pleasures and too little on education and duties. I'm also afraid that a little more humility wouldn’t hurt Alexander. Maybe it’s time for him to visit the elves for a year or so.” Cecilia didn't like anyone criticising her son, not even Magnus.
“There is nothing wrong with Alexander,” she said sharply, “and he's still too young to go away for a year.”
“No, he’s the same age that I was when I visited the elves. He will grow up whatever you do.”
But Cecilia didn’t want to hear about sending Alexander to the elves yet and if Alexander didn’t behave as she might wish, it was Erik’s fault. Her son couldn't do anything wrong according to Cecilia. “Alexander is just a young boy, there will be plenty of time for him to visit the elves later,” Cecilia finished the discussion.
I was in the middle of the night and everyone in the castle except the guards on duty were asleep. The dark figure moved silently looking around his shoulder every now and then. He didn't belong to the castle and was heavily armed. The guard didn't hesitate for a second when he saw that the intruder was trying to open Alexander’s door. There was a look of total surprise in the intruder’s eyes when the sword went into his chest.
Too late Robert, which was the guard’s name, realised that killing the intruder maybe wasn’t the best option and just as he had feared king Magnus was angry.
“Now, we will never know who sent him.” Although Magnus was very happy that the attack on his son had been stopped, he was displeased that the intruder had been killed and couldn't be interrogated. He was convinced that one of his brothers had sent the intruder to kill Alexander but now nothing could be proved.
The next days were turbulent. Magnus had never expected an attack on his son in his own castle. Although Alexander also was a little annoyed by the incident, he stated that the guards had done their duty and he hadn’t been harmed after all. It was obvious that the safety was good in the castle according to Alexander.
Cecilia was deeply chocked. She changed her mind about sending Alexander to the elves and decided that he would be much safer in the Elven realms for a while. I was hastily decided that Alexander would leave as soon as possible. It was spring and a good time to travel.
“I don’t want to stay with the longears for a year,” Alexander protested unhappily. "I have heard that all they do is singing and reading poetry. I want to stay here with my friends."
“Never, ever call the elves longears again.” Magnus said angry. “You must show them the deepest respect. You have to travel and that’s the end of the discussion.”
When Alexander had left the room Magnus chuckled for himself. “Longears, haha.” Sometimes the king was easily amused.
It was time to leave. A few guards would accompany Alexander. He needed all his self control to not cry in front of everyone. Cecilia thought that is was almost unbearable to see her son leave although she knew that he would be back next year.
When Alexander was ready to mount his horse he began to feel that maybe this would be a good adventure after all.
|19th Nov 2010, 6:52 PM||Chapter 6. Roe and the Dark Elves #9|
As the years went by without Thorundur showing up again, Roe realised that he probably had forgotten about her and was busy with his life with the elves. She would never forget her best friend even if they only had spent a short time together. But that year had been the best time of her life. There was not a day that went by when she didn’t think about the elf and the good times that they had shared together.
Roe was, however, not unhappy. It was not in her nature to be unhappy for a long time and she still enjoyed her life with all the small adventures in the forest. One day she made new friends. A couple of dark elves, Ondina and Orm, had moved to a place in the mountains not very far from Roe’s family’s hunting grounds. Their blue eyes reminded her of Thorundur. At first she had thought that Thorundur’s eyes looked strange but very soon she’d started to like his blue eyes that were so vivid. Ondina and Orm were much older than her and she didn’t share the same kind of familiarity with them that she had with Thorundur but she enjoyed spending time with the elves.
Ondina smiled friendly. “You know everything that is worth to know about the forest Roe. Would you like to help us to collect some of the ingredients that we need for our potions? Perhaps we can help you sometime in return.”
Roe was flattered. The dark elves made her feel special when they thought that she could help them with their magic. Some of the ingredients that Ondina and Orm had asked for were extremely poisonous. It was the kind of plants and mushrooms that she had been taught to carefully avoid. Roe figured that it was logic that strong magic required strong ingredients.
“I used to have a friend who was an elf just like you. He’s name was Thorundur.” Roe smiled sadly.
“That sounds like a light elf name.” Ondina’s eyes met Orm’s.
“Yes, of course. Thorundur is a light elf.” Roe was puzzled by the strange expression in Orm’s and Ondina’s faces.
“I’m sure that he was a nice person if you chose him to be your friend.” Ondina didn’t sound as if she really meant this. “But you should know that light elves cannot be trusted. There are things in the past that we will never forgive them. They started a cruel war against the dark elves and we will never forget our terrible losses. It’s probably better for you to keep away from light elves.” Ondina’s face hardened when she talked about light elves.
This was a lot more information about the elves than Roe had wanted to have and the new knowledge disturbed her. Forest people had no enemies and treated everyone with respect. How strange that dark elves and light elves who were of the same kind did not get along with each other! She didn’t talk more about Thorundur and didn’t ask about the differences between light and dark elves because she really didn’t want to hear any bad things about light elves.
“I don’t think you should spend so much time with the elves,” Otter’s ears twitched slightly and Roe had to look down to hide her smile. She didn’t want her mother to believe that she was being disrespectful. It was always so easy to tell when Otter was uncertain. Her ears revealed her. “We Forest people proud ourselves to be polite and kind but we don’t socialise with other species and only rarely with those of our own kind that are not family. I know that you had much fun with the light elf when you were a child but you are growing up and should follow the ways of our people.”
“Why don’t Forest people socialise with others?” Roe couldn’t understand this. It was so fun and interesting to be with the elves.
Otter’s ears twitched again. She really didn’t know exactly why she thought that Roe shouldn’t spend time with the elves. It just felt strange and wrong. She worried because it became more and more clear that maybe Roe was different from other Forest people, and according to Otter being different meant trouble. “Because it’s not how we are. It’s against our nature.” Otter realised that the answer was insufficient for Roe who just looked more questioning.
Roe hugged her mother. “Don’t worry about me mum. I’ll be fine.” Otter gave up. Maybe being different could be something very good sometimes, she thought hopefully.
Wolf sat down by the fire next to Roe. “It’s time for the Forest people meeting next summer. You’re now old enough to participate in the competitions, and I think that you will enjoy that.”
Roe was thrilled. She still remembered her first and only meeting as a very special event in her life. She would indeed enjoy competing with other hunters of her own kind.
Roe had seen a colony of bees in a tree some days before and had decided that she would surprise her parents with honey today. She was thinking about how happy Otter and Wolf would be when she came home with the honey when her sharp nose picked up a very familiar scent that she had not felt for many years now. The scent brought back so many memories from the past, but it was not possible, she must be mistaken.
She was not mistaken. Suddenly he stood there in the forest looking straight at her, just like the first time that she’d met him.
“Hi Roe, I think that you have grown since last time I saw you.” The familiar smile made his eyes glitter.
|22nd Nov 2010, 6:09 PM||7. Happy Reunion #10|
”Thorundur!” Roe threw herself around Thorundur's neck. “I’ve missed you so much!”
“I missed you too Roe. My parents wouldn’t let me leave home until now. I was so afraid that you might have moved so that I wouldn’t be able to find you again.”
It was like they never had parted. They could still talk about everything and spent almost all time together. Thorundur enjoyed hunting and was more than happy to learn from Roe who had improved her skills during the years that had passed.
“I have such a good time with you Roe.” Thorundur said and Roe felt warm and happy. “You’re the best sister I could have.” Somehow these words didn’t make Roe as happy as they used to.
“I met two dark elves who became my friends.” Roe worried about how Thorundur would react to this information considering what the dark elves had told her about the relations between light and dark elves. But Roe didn’t want to have any secrets for Thorundur.
“Dark elves!” Thorundur looked upset. “Dark elves are evil. How could you be friend with such people?” he asked accusingly.
Roe was hurt and angry. “They were nice to me and they are my friends. Ondina and Orm said that light elves are cruel. I can’t understand why elves cannot get along with each other.”
She got up and walked away.
“Wait, Roe. I didn’t mean to be angry at you. It’s not your fault. You couldn’t know how cruel dark elves can be. Please don’t be angry at me. Do you still see the dark elves?”
Roe hadn’t seen Ondina and Orm for some time before Thorundur showed up. She didn’t know if they kept away because they knew that Thorundur was here or if they just were busy with other things.
“I won’t see them again as long as you’re here if you don’t want me too,” she said.
“I better stay then,” he said with a smile.
Thorundur was upset to learn that Ondina and Orm had settled down in the mountains not very far away from his brother’s home. But Thorundur and Roe didn’t talk more about the dark elves.
“Father you can’t be serious!” Princess Aliendre was upset.
“You’re the only elf here who’s about the same age as Prince Alexander,” King Eraldor said. “I think that it’s more than reasonable and polite that you spend some time with him. He’s going to be treated as an honoured guest in our palace.”
“But a human!” Aliendre was not happy. “Am I supposed to be a nanny to a human?” She could think of thousands of things that she’d rather do than spend time with a human.
“Humans may be mortal and different from us but they are our allies. We have not forgotten the help that they gave us when the evil dark elves started the war hundreds of years ago. You were not born then but most of the light elves are old enough to remember how the humans helped us to win the war when it looked hopeless. Our numbers were seriously reduced and never has there been a sorrow worse than what we experienced because of the war. The human king who supported us was an ancestor to Prince Alexander and therefore the prince must be treated with respect.”
Aliendre sighed and bowed her head.
Although Aliendre had no other choice than to do as she was told, she didn't look forward to the visit by the human.
|2nd Dec 2010, 5:15 PM||Chapter 8. Travellers #11|
Alexander had looked after his horse Galaxy and was walking back to the camp fire when he heard that the guards were talking about him.
“I would very much prefer to be at home with my family instead of looking after a spoiled brat prince in the middle of nowhere” Robert said.
“I know, but the payment is good,” Roland answered.
Alexander was chocked and sad. Was that how people thought of him, as a spoiled brat? He realised that lately he had probably deserved such an opinion about himself. But he would change that. He walked slowly to the camp.
“Where is the axe Robert?” Alexander said.
Robert looked puzzled. “Why?” he asked.
“Obviously we need some more wood for the fire.”
Alexander grabbed the axe and walked away. It was harder than he had thought but finally he had a nice pile of logs. Satisfied with the result he decided that he would show everyone that he was a lot more than a spoiled prince.
“We’re not very far away from the elven palace now,” Roland said. Can you see the mountains over there?”
Alexander looked in the direction Roland pointed and nodded.
“Never go to close to the mountains. It’s said that dark elves dwell there,” Roland said. “They can put a spell on you so that you’re lost in the wilderness forever.”
Alexander shuddered. He had read about dark elves and their black magic and had no intention to have any closer contact with them. It was good the light elves’ palace was in a completely different direction.
|6th Dec 2010, 11:40 PM||Chapter 9. The Light Elves' Palace #12|
Here is chapter 9. The story is getting longer than I first had thought. Even if the general storyline is finished the details between the major events seem to live their own life and are growing. Roe and Alexander will meet their destinies sooner or later but it will take longer to get there than I had planned.
Alexander had never seen elves before except at the banquet that was hold to his honour when he was little. Of course he could not remember that. All elves looked like they were the same age with one exception, a young girl about his age. She must be Princess Aliendre he thought. The princess looked steady at him with her large blue eyes and an expression that indicated that she was bored. Alexander thought that she was the most beautiful girl that he’d ever seen.
Aliendre’s bored expression did not change when it was her turn to greet the guest.
“I am pleased to meet you Prince Alexander.” Her voice was soft and graceful but her facial expression did not match her words. There was not a trace of a smile on her lips.
The guards only stayed to get a couple of days rest from the travel before it was time for them to return home. When Roland bowed and said “Goodbye Alexander it was a pleasure to escort you,” he sounded sincere and when he looked at Alexander it was with a respect that hadn’t been there before.
The guards left and Alexander was the only human left. But the elves were friendly and kept him busy. There were always new and interesting things to learn. Alexander worked hard, determined to make a good impression and to improve himself.
The palace garden was magnificent. Pleasant flagrances from colourful flowers filled the air. Bees and butterflies drank from the nectar. Archways, fountains, footpaths and statues added to the beauty. Most fantastic of all was the statue of the elven queen. It was perfect with real clothes and hair.
“I hope that you have settled in and that everything is to your satisfaction.” The friendly voice made Alexander jump because he had thought that he was alone.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you Alexander. I was lost in the past. Sometimes we elders forget the present and loose ourselves in past times.”
Now Alexander realised that it was not a statue at all. It was actually the queen herself who had been completely still in the same posture for a long time. He could swear that she hadn’t even blinked.
Despite all new things to explore and learn Alexander felt a bit lonely and missed his friends and family. He had hoped that he and Aliendre would become friends. After all they were the only teenagers here. She did, however, seem to avoid him. He greeted her every time they occasionally met but she answered shortly and did not stop even to exchange a few polite phrases. Usually girls were more than happy to talk with Alexander, but on the other hand he had never met an elven girl before.
To Alexander’s surprise and delight Aliendre approached him one day.
“Would you like to come with me on an excursion?” she asked. There was still not a trace of a smile in her face.
They went by horse to a place close to the palace. All colours were more intense than they were at home in the human kingdom. The grass was greener and there were colourful flowers that Alexander had never seen at home. It looked almost like an enchanted landscape. He said this to Aliendre in an attempt to open a conversation.
“Of course,” she said. The king and queen use their powers too keep this place as we like it.”
Alexander was dumbfounded. He hadn’t really expected magic to be involved although he had known that some of the elves from the oldest families had strong powers. It was one thing to read about magic powers and another thing to see evidence of it.
“Would you like to practice archery with elven bows?” Aliendre said.
“Yes, I would love to.” Alexander had always enjoyed archery. Aliendre provided him with a bow and arrows.
The first arrow hit the target in the bullseye and the next was not very far from it. Alexander found that his results were better than ever. He had never used such a good bow.
“Has this been prepared with magic?” he asked Aliendre. It seamed reasonable that the bow could be enchanted if the landscape was.
“No,” she said as if he was stupid to ask such a question. “We have very skilful craftsmen.”
Alexander shot some more arrows and was satisfied with the result. Aliendre picked up a bow and started to practice on another target and Alexander noted that she was skilled. Obviously she had done this many times before.
“Would you like to compete?” Alexander asked.
Aliendre nodded. Although Alexander couldn’t deny that she was very talented he was satisfied to note that he was better. He was too competitive to consider letting her win just to be polite.
A small wrinkle formed between Aliendre’s brows and her otherwise full lips narrowed to a thin line. “Let’s increase the distance,” she said.
Okay, she’s a bad loser Alexander thought amused and accepted the challenge. He felt confident about his skill with the bow. All the hours of practice had given result and with the elven bow he was better than ever. But when he saw how far away Aliendre had meant he protested.
“I can hardly see the targets there. How am I am supposed to be able to aim?”
Aliendre smiled content. “Do you give up?”
Although Alexander did well Aliendre won this time. I was clear that elves had better vision than humans. Aliendre was not only a bad loser she was also a bad winner. Although Alexander could tell that she tried to hide her content she did not succeed very well.
Alexander picked some flowers nearby.
“These are for the beautiful winner” he said with smile. “I will carry them back home for you.”
To Alexander’s surprise and delight Aliendre’s lips formed bright smile that made her look radiant. For once the imperious princess was amused. “You shouldn’t have picked those flowers,” she said.
“Why, is there a law against picking them?” Alexander looked horrified and threw the flowers on the ground.
“No, there’s no need for a law. No one would be stupid enough to pick them,” Aliendre said with a laugh. “Almost no one” she corrected herself with a look at Alexander. “You will understand very soon what I’m talking about.”
Before Aliendre had finished the sentence Alexander felt how his hands started to twinge and he could see vesicles popping up.
“The flowers have a poisonous sap,” Aliendre said. The tone of compassion in her voice surprised Alexander. “It’s not dangerous but will hurt for a while. You’re lucky though. I have something in my saddle bag that will help.”
She got an ointment and salved Alexander’s hands that started to feel better immediately. Aliendre’s hands were warm and soft.
“It was worth it to see you smile” Alexander said when Aliendre met his eyes for a moment. It seemed to get her out of balance for a short while.
When they rode home Aliendre smiled a little when he joked with her. She told him about the places they passed and asked a couple of questions about his family. In the short ride home they exchanged more words than they had since Alexander came to the light elves.
Alexander smiled. He had known exactly what plants that he had picked. They grew at home also and he was well aware that they would cause a rash. It had been worth it to break the ice between him and Aliendre. An extra bonus was that Aliendre had had a healing salve so he didn’t even have to suffer much. He thought about the softness of Aliendre’s hands. It had been a very good day on the whole.
|14th Dec 2010, 9:43 PM||Chaper 10. The Tribunal #13|
Alexander studied his image in the mirror for a long time while he combed his hair without being completely satisfied with the result. Maybe he should let his hair grow long like the elves, he thought. He changed clothes a couple of times before he was ready for breakfast.
When he got out of his room he saw Aliendre and she was looking at him. She looked puzzled as if she tried to figure out something.
“Good morning,” Alexander said, and for the first time the princess returned his greeting with a friendly smile.
Alexander found that Aliendre smiled often now. They spent more and more time together. Aliendre wanted to know everything about the human word, something that she recently had seemed to consider being below her dignity. Alexander was cheerful by nature and his jokes made her laugh.
Alexander woke up. It was dark and the moonlight trickled through the coloured glass in his window. Upset voices reached his room. There seemed to be several elves in the courtyard who talked about something that they were clearly not happy about. Alexander went out to find out what was going on.
Between two light elves in armour was a teenage boy who Alexander thought must be a dark elf. The boy was obviously a prisoner and did not seem to be any older than Alexander.
“It’s outrageous. We found him close to the palace,” one of the light elves said.
“Don’t you know that this is forbidden area for dark elves?”
The boy’s jaws were tense and his eyes filled with pride. He kept silent and did not answer any of the questions that he was asked.
Everyone’s eyes turned as King Eraldor came out from the main door. The situation was quickly explained for him.
There was a grim expression in the elven king’s face. “Lock him up for the night and we’ll have the trial here in the courtyard tomorrow.”
Alexander was already awake when the sun rose. He hadn’t been able to get much sleep. The tribunal was going to be held in the courtyard and Alexander was expected to be in the audience. The expressions in the light elves’ faces gave him a bad feeling about what to expect. He did not envy the boy who was going to be judged by this crowd. The dark elf was pushed in front on the light elves. He still refused to answer any questions and looked steady at the light elves with pride and hatred.
When Alexander for a short moment met the boy’s eyes he could tell that there was fear behind the pride in them. Some kind of conviction seemed to be made after a very short trial.
Eraldor stood up to announce the sentence. “Your memory and your sense will be taken away from you before you will be released in the forest far away from here.”
This was a sentence Alexander had never heard in any human trial that he had attended but it did not sound good.
The boy’s jaws became even tenser and his face paler but he kept his eyes steady and did not say anything. His name was still unknown as he had not said a word since he was caught. Eraldor lifted his arm and the silence was compact. The power of the words coming from Eraldor’s mouth was obvious even for Alexander who did not understand them. A light bolt went from Eraldor’s fingers and hit the dark elf whose face became totally blank. He was dragged away by two light elves. No one spoke. Alexander met Aliendrie’s eyes and could tell that she had also been deeply shaken. To be released in the forest without memory or sense could be nothing else that a death sentence Alexander thought. What had the boy done to deserve such a destiny? All Alexander knew was that the dark elf had been too close to the light elves’ palace.
Eraldor sat down looking tired and worn as if all his energy had been drawn out of him with the spell. He went slowly into to the palace, supported by his wife, and stayed out of sight for three days.
|19th Dec 2010, 10:33 PM||Chapter 11. Boar Hunt #14|
Roe waited at the usual place. She loved early summer mornings and the sensation when the rising sun started to warm her skin.
When she saw Thorundur her heart started beating faster and all colours became brighter. She loved how the sunlight made his blond hair shine. Everything was so much more fun when she shared it with Thorundur.
“I’ve never seen you use any magic,” Roe said. “Don’t all elves have magic powers?”
“It’s mostly the oldest elves and sometimes their children. I don’t have much power but there’s something that I can do. Look!”
Thorundur closed his eyes and concentrated. He reached out his fingers and started to say some strange words that he repeated many times under deep concentration. After a long while Roe could see a small flame of fire coming from his fingertips. With a last effort he lighted a fire.
“That’s fantastic Thorundur. You’re so skilled.”
Thorundur had to sit down to rest. The spell had drained him of energy but he looked very content. Roe didn’t have the heart to tell him that she could have lit the fire much quicker and with less effort without magic.
It was getting colder each day. Roe took a deep breath letting her lungs fill with the fresh autumn air. She took a new breath but this time only with her nose.
“I can smell the boar here. It must be in this direction,” she said. She could feel the adrenaline running through her veins, sharpening her senses and making her feel really good.
“You’re right. Here’s the track. It looks fresh,” Thorundur whispered.
“Are you ready?” Roe nodded in the direction of the wild boar that was drinking from the lake.
Thorundur raised his bow and aimed. Just as he was about to fire the arrow the boar looked up and ran away. The arrow went through the air and hit the ground where the boar had been half a second before.
“I can’t believe it! I had him! Something scared him.”
There was a movement in the bushes by the lake and a dirty skinny figure appeared. He looked ragged and his eyes bewildered. When he saw Roe and Thorundur there was a look of total terror in his face before he turned away and ran through the forest in an amazing speed as if something horrible was hunting him. Soon he was out of sight.
“What was that? Surely that was an elf but he looked as if he had no sense at all,” Roe said.
“He was a Dark elf so of course he wouldn’t have any sense. He made us loose the boar.”
Despite the harsh words from her friend Roe could see that the strange behaviour of the boy had disturbed Thorundur as well.
“If he acts like that he will get himself killed really soon.” Roe shuddered at the thought of the boy who had seemed so lost in the forest. There had clearly been something terribly wrong with him.
“Next summer I will go to a Forest people meeting,” Roe said.
“Can I come with you?”
Roe hesitated, not knowing how to tell Thorundur that only Forest people could go.
Thorundur laughed. “I was joking. I know that your people would be shocked to se an elf at their secret meeting. Besides I’m going to visit the King’s and the Queen’s palace with Toraldor and his wife. It’ll probably be about the same time as your meeting. As I told you before, my brother Toraldor’s wife, Liandra is a very distant relative to Queen Eliene. We’ll have so much to tell each other when we meet again after I have been at the palace and you at the big secret Forest people meeting.”
|26th Dec 2010, 1:36 AM||Chapter 12. The Mother #15|
Toraldor was relieved. His constant worry might soon be eased. His wife Liandra was so wise. “I think it was a brilliant idea to ask Thorundur to come with us to the palace. My parents are constantly asking me to stop him from running around in the forest with the creatures there, but you know Thorundur. He doesn’t listen to anyone.”
“At the palace I think he will start to think and behave more like an elf. We have probably given him too much freedom,” Liandra said.
“Yes, I know, but it’s not easy to control Thorundur. I didn’t mind when he played with the forest creature as a child but he and the girl are growing up and I’m getting more and more worried about how it will end.”
“I know,” Liandra said. “But spending more time with elves will probably do him good.”
Thorundur shook his head. “Forest creature!” Was that supposed to be Roe? He didn’t mind to visit the palace, but if his brother and Liandra thought that he would stop seeing Roe they were mistaken. “There’s no need to worry dear brother”, Thorundur said silently to himself. “Roe is my sister.”
Roe had arrived to the meeting place late last night. She looked forward to the competitions that would start tomorrow.
“Hi, I’m Bear, son of Squirrel and Wolverine”, the boy bowed to Roe and she answered the greeting.
He sat down next to her and Roe felt a little annoyed. She was thinking about the competitions tomorrow and Bear was disturbing her concentration.
The first competition was to throw a spear at a target. Competitors who hit the target passed to a new round. For each round the distance was increased further until only the winner hit the target.
“Bear is the winner and Roe is second,” they judges announced.
Roe felt that she hated Bear when she saw his content smile. She had tried so hard to win and he had just been lucky.
Next competition was to run through an obstacle course. In the end of the course the judges had hung a foxtail in a tree. The one that first grabbed the foxtail would win. Roe scratched her hands and knees so that her blood left a track behind her. Normally she would never be so careless but this was not a normal hunt. This was a competition where the winner would be the quickest competitor, not the wisest. Roe felt as if her lungs would explode when she triumphantly grabbed the foxtail.
“Roe is the winner,” the judges announced.
That should show Bear who’s the best hunter, Roe thought. To her annoyance he didn’t look disappointed. Instead he looked admiringly at her.
Wolverine approached Wolf. “Your daughter is a very good hunter,” he said.
“Yes, I’m very proud of Roe,” Wolf agreed.
“It will soon be time for her to think about getting a suitable mate. My son Bear is also a good hunter. I think that they would be a good couple. Maybe they could be joined at the next meeting?”
“We’ll see,” Wolf said. “Roe is still young, but I will consider your suggestion.”
Wolf had avoided thinking about Roe getting a husband although he had known that it would inevitably happen some day not very far in the future. He had hoped that Roe would find a mate that had a sibling but there were not many young Forest people with siblings. It was too much to ask that a young couple would support four aging parents. The future could be grim for aging Forest people without children. Bear would be the best husband that he could wish for Roe. He was strong and a good hunter. It would probably be good if Roe got a husband soon so that she stopped running around with the elf.
When many of the Forest people were gathered together the presence of the spirits of the forest and the ancestors were always closer than ever. The flames of the fires, the rhythm of the drums and the dances made the spirits approach the people and everyone was part of an entirety, joined in the passed and the present. That was how it was supposed to be, but Roe’s mind played tricks with her tonight.
She didn’t feel the presence of the spirits at all tonight; instead images of Thorundur’s face filled her mind. If only she could share this night and experience with him! Then her mind played a new trick with her and another image filled her brain. A toddler was asleep in a hut. It was a child of the Forest people. The child woke up and opened the eyes. Roe could see that the eyes were as blue as the sky.
Roe woke up. It was still dark and everyone was asleep after the dance with the spirits yesterday. Her throat was terribly dry. She felt an irresistible urge to go to the creek in the forest near the camp. It was full moon and fog was covering the damp ground.
When she came to the creek there was a woman standing on the other side. The woman was obviously not one of the Forest people.
“Roe of the Forest people I have been waiting for you. We missed you yesterday. Everyone but you joined their mind with us.” The voice sounded distant although the women stood there right in front of Roe.
“Who are you?”
“Don’t you know, I’m your mother.”
Roe thought that she must be dreaming a very strange dream. The woman in front of her didn’t look anything like her mother, Otter.
“Is this a dream?”
“Look into your heart and you will know.”
Roe concentrated but her heart didn’t tell her anything. She could feel the cold of the night touching her skin but maybe that was possible also in a dream?
“You will have to make a choice in your future and that choice will affect many people. Be careful to make the right choice.”
“How will I know the right choice?”
“Your heart will tell you. Keep your mind open and follow your heart. But remember that your heart can also delude you.”
This was really not very helpful, Roe thought. Was the woman joking with her? Roe didn’t think so.
“The dawn is getting closer and I have to leave, but remember my words, Roe with the brave heart. This is a gift from me to you, my favourite child. It will keep your spirits up when times are difficult.” The woman put something on a stone besides the creek. The mist became denser and the woman turned around and disappeared as if she had been absorbed by the night and the fog.
Roe went back to sleep. When she woke up together with everyone else in the morning she didn’t know if she had dreamt a very strange dream or if she really had met the incarnate Forest people’s mother during the night. She touched the necklace around her neck, the necklace that the woman had put on the stone at the side of the creek.
|26th Dec 2010, 1:47 AM||#16|
Join Date: Jun 2010
Exceptionally well done. This is one of the best stories I've seen put up on this site.
Kleptomaniac, Hopeless romantic, Frugal, Family-Oriented, Over-Emotional
The Dahl Legacy
|1st Jan 2011, 8:10 PM||Chapter 13. Full Moon #17|
“One of the songs I heard yesterday seemed to be about life after death” Alexander said to Aliendre. “Do elves go to the same place as humans?”
“No, of course not, only immortals can go to our place. We cannot die by age, but yet many of us have already left this world. I don’t know what happens to mortals. It seems so sad to have such a short life,” she said thoughtfully.
Alexander thought that maybe this last part had been a bit tactless of Aliendre but he didn’t say so. He wouldn’t have minded to live forever like the elves did.
“Humans who are brave and give proper sacrifices will go to a place where there are no sorrows,” Alexander said. “There will be joyful games and banquets all the time. All wounds from the fighting games will heal before the night falls. We will meet our beloved that went before us and we will be together with them forever.”
“And humans who are not brave?” Aliendre asked.
“Humans better be brave,” Alexander said.
“My parents had a son, my brother, who died hundreds of years before I was born. He was killed by the Dark elves during the war. Don’t think too badly about us because of what you have witnessed here. There are reasons for our actions”
Alexander didn’t know if he agreed that a war hundreds of years ago really could be a good reason to take away the memory from a teenage boy and let him perish in the wilderness, but said nothing about it. After all, what did he know about Elven politics? "I would have had two brothers and three sisters if they hadn't all died as infants before I was born," he said. "Probably that's why my mother is extremely overprotecting."
There were always visitors that came and went in the Elven palace. One day a teenage boy arrived. He was only the third elf that Alexander had seen who was not an adult. There was something about the boy, except his age, that made him differ from all other elves that Alexander had seen.
Somehow the young boy made a more human impression than other elves but at first Alexander couldn’t figure out why. Then he realised! Elves usually moved very smoothly and never did these small and unnecessary movements with their hands that humans usually do. They even blinked much less often than humans. But this boy seemed to talk constantly and lively, underlining his words with gestures. Alexander had never seen such a lively elf before.
Thorundur heard the rhythm of a heart beat. The sound was load. No, it was not a heart beat ..... it was drums. Who could be playing drums in the middle of the night? The rhythm was primitive and suggestive, and there was a fire. He saw the flames dancing around him but they didn’t burn him because he was one of them and he couldn’t resist moving with the rhythm. Soon he was dancing wildly together with the flames of the fire with his heart beating with the same rhythm as the drums.
Sweat covered Thorundur’s body when he woke up from a disturbing and strange dream. He remembered that there had been a child in it. Something had been strange with the child but he couldn’t remember what it was. The room was really warm; no wonder that he had dreamt about fire. He needed fresh air.
The summer night was peaceful and refreshing and the moon was full. He wondered if Roe was looking at the same moon as him. She would be at the Forest people’s meeting by now but she was probably sleeping at this time of the night. Thorundur had arrived to the palace two days ago and liked it. Everything was beautiful here. Most beautiful of all was the Princess. He hoped that he would have the chance to get to know Princess Aliendre better.
|6th Jan 2011, 10:09 PM||#18|
Thank you for your very nice comment PinkGraffiti.
|6th Jan 2011, 10:33 PM||Chapter 14. Farewell #19|
“This is Thorundur. His brother’s wife is a distant relative to the Queen.” Aliendre introduced the boy.
Alexander bowed and said “It is nice to meet you Thorundur.”
Thorundur’s bow was almost imperceptible. There was a wrinkle between his brows and he did not say the expected polite phrase in return.
“Where are you from Thorundur?” Alexander tried to converse with the boy but Thorundur only murmured something inaudible while he thoroughly studied his shoes. The Elven boy was not as lively and talkative when Alexander tried to talk with him as he’d been with the elves.
“Thorundur will be our tracker on our hunting excursion,” Aliendre said. She looked as if she was embarrassed by Thorundur’s behaviour.
Alexander was excited about today’s hunting trip. According to Aliendre they would have an excellent tracker. Although Thorundur had not made a very good first impression Alexander decided to give him second chance. Maybe he’d just been shy.
“Thorundur has learned how to track from his friend,” Aliendre said. “She belongs to the Forest people and has horns on her head.”
Alexander didn’t know if Aliendre was joking or if there really existed a people in the forest with horns on their head. He had never heard of such a people, not even in the fairy tales.
Alexander couldn’t deny that Thorundur really knew how to track. They found all the game they could wish for and the hunting party returned home in high spirits. Alexander had proved his skill with the bow when he struck down a deer and had enjoyed the elves’ admiration, especially Aliendre’s.
“You’ve been a great help, Thorundur.” Aliendre thanked the boy when the hunting party got home after a successful day.
Alexander was astonished. He hadn’t known that elves could blush but Thorundur’s cheeks turned deeply red when Aliendre thanked him.
“I think the boy has a crush on you, my dear princess.” Alexander knew that it was mean of him to tease Thorundur but he couldn’t help himself. Thorundur needed to be put in place.
Thorundur’s cheeks turned even redder while he turned his head to look steady at Alexander with lowered eyebrows and an expression that could not be mistaken for embarrassment. If it would be possible to fire arrows with the eyes, Alexander was certain that he would have been hit by one.
Alexander often found Aliendre together with Thorundur but the boy always left with a sullen face without acknowledging Alexander’s presence when Alexander arrived. Thorundur’s behaviour was really getting on Alexander’s nerves. After all he was a prince and was treated with respect by all the other elves. He felt relieved when Thorundur left the palace a few weeks later.
Alexander and Aliendre were never alone. There were always elves from the court accompanying Aliendre. Alexander suspected that they constantly were keeping an eye on him too. As a prince he was accustomed to have a suite following him, but sometimes it could be really annoying to never be left alone.
“I see that you and my daughter go along well together,” Eraldor said.
Alexander agreed and Eraldor asked about what Alexander had learned the last week. “You speak our language very well now,” Eraldor said. Then he changed subject again.
“Elves and humans are very different. Therefore a human and an elf can never marry and live together as man and wife. This has never happened because it would have disastrous consequences.” Alexander felt as if he shrank under Eraldor's gaze. If he only would blink!
Alexander nodded to show that he understood and Eraldor told him about what the consequences would be if an elf and a human fell in love and decided to share their lives.
Alexander was depressed. It was clear that Eraldor thought that he’d fallen in love with Aliendre. Maybe Eraldor was right Alexander thought. But after what Eraldor had told him he knew that such a love would be hopeless and disastrous. It was also obvious that Eraldor would never approve and Alexander couldn’t blame him.
Alexander couldn’t believe how fast the time with the elves had passed. He had been with the elves longer than the year that had been decided and had to return home before the winter when travelling would be more difficult. The human guards that would escort him home had arrived. He said goodbye to everyone and felt like he was about to leave a lovely dream and return to real life.
It was the last afternoon before Alexander would start the long travel home. He saddled Galaxy, his faithful friend, and rode to the place where he and Aliendre had practiced archery for the first time more than a year ago.
Aliendre was already there and for once she was alone.
“I hoped that you would come,” she said.
They sat down and talked about numerous pointless things. It was getting dark and they should return home. They started to walk slowly towards the horses without speaking.
Suddenly Aliendre stumbled on a root and Alexander caught her swiftly before she hit the ground. Before any of them knew how it happened their lips found each other. Alexander didn’t know how long they kissed because it was like an eternity and a fraction of a second at the same time. They parted, both knowing the hopelessness in the love between and elf and human.
They didn’t speak much on the ride back to the palace and said goodnight with heavy hearts. Soon Aliendre would be like an unreal dream Alexander thought. He hoped that Eraldor would never find out what had happened. Although the Elven king had always been kind to him, Alexander hadn’t forgotten how scaring Eraldor’s powers could be. The Dark elf that had been caught too close to the palace was probably dead by now.
When the humans left early in the next morning Aliendre looked after them until they were out of sight.
|13th Jan 2011, 7:44 PM||Chapter 15. A Day at the Lake #20|
Roe felt refreshed after the swim in the lake. The late summer days were very hot this year.
"How was your time at the palace?" Roe asked.
“It was good. Princess Aliendre is magnificent. She’s beautiful and kind. But there was a rude human prince visiting the palace. He constantly tried to flirt with Aliendre as if an Elven princess would care about a human.”
Roe’s eyes became wide and she jumped up. “Did you say human?! Do you mean that humans exist for real?! Did he try to kill you?”
Thorundur laughed. “Roe, of course they exist. Why would he try to kill me? After all it was only a human.”
Roe was upset. Her worst nightmare was true. Humans might come and force her people to leave their homes just as the storyteller had said when she was a child. But Thorundur didn’t seem to be worried or frightened. Maybe the storyteller had exaggerated?
“What do they look like?”
“They are not very different from elves but much uglier of course. Their ears are small and the adult males have hair in the face. Some of them remove the hair from the face while other let it grow.”
“Hair in the face, ugh.” Roe laughed.
“How was your meeting Roe?”
“I won three competitions.”
“Wow Roe! Of course I knew that you would do well. And more?”
“There was a boy named Bear who was really annoying. Dad thinks that I should take him as my spouse at the next meeting but I don’t really want to think about getting a spouse already. I can’t imagine how depressive a life with Bear would be.”
Thorundur was quiet for a long while which was something very unusual. “I don’t want to grow up,” he said finally. “I want everything to always be like it’s now. When you have a spouse you won’t have time for me.”
Roe knew that what Thorundur said was true. She could hardly run around in the forest with Thorundur when she had a husband and a family.
“I don’t want to grow up either,” she said.
“Elves don’t marry until they find the love of their life, even if it takes several hundreds of years, but I know that your people are expected to have a family as soon as you grow up.”
“It’s warm, I want another swim,” Roe said to change subject. She didn’t want to think more about the time when her happy days with Thorundur would come to an end.
If anyone had seen them he would probably have found the sight very odd. The young Forest girl and the Elven boy were playing like children in the water, laughing heartily as if there were no worries or dangers in their world.
They were lying in the sun letting the warm sun beams dry them after the swim.
“Did Bear give you that necklace?” There was a strange sharpness in Thorundur’s voice.
“No, You’ll never believe this!”
Roe told Thorundur about her meeting in the forest with the Mother. He looked at her with large eyes.
“If it wasn’t for the necklace I wouldn’t believe it myself. You’re the only one that I’ve told about the meeting with the Mother. To everyone else I said that I found the necklace in the forest.”
“I believe you. You’re the most incredible person I know Roe. That necklace is clearly not Elven handcraft. It looks very old.”
“I didn’t even know that the spirits could show themselves as people. No one that I have asked has heard of such a thing.” She didn’t tell Thorundur that she hadn’t felt the presence of the spirits during the dance because she’d been thinking about him. If he knew how she felt she was afraid that their friendship would change. There was no sign at all that he thought about her as anything else than as a very dear friend.
|20th Jan 2011, 4:20 PM||Chapter 16. The Jousting Field #21|
Although Alexander would rather die than admit it, it felt good to be in his mother’s arms again. He had really missed Cecilia’s loving care even if she often tended to exaggerate. It was good to be home.
“Tell us about the longears now, Alexander!”
Alexander took a gulp of his mead while he thought about what to say. It was as if everything had changed. Or rather, he had changed while everything else remained the same. He would for example not use the word “longears” about the elves after he had met Eraldor and Aliendre. It seemed so….inappropriate. A gap had developed between him and his friends but they didn’t seem to notice.
He put down the goblet and swallowed. “Their world is like a dream where time has stopped,” he said, feeling that he could not find exactly the right words to describe what he had experienced the last year.
“I believe that Alexander has become a poet. Have some more mead old friend,” Arne said and laughed. “Were there any pretty girls there?”
Alexander didn’t want to talk about Aliendre with his friends and thought quickly. The tribunal against the dark elf should distract them and give them something to think about. He did the most he could of the story, dramatizing all the spectacular details. Arne and Stig were enthralled.
Autumn was followed by winter and things went back to normal even if something within Alexander would always be changed after the visit in the Elven realm. He studied harder than ever and practiced martial arts with even more enthusiasm than before. Spring came early this year and the jousting tournaments started again.
Excitement and anticipation filled the air. Bookmakers were busy. The unknown knight, Stigbert, and the popular knight Sigvard were still undefeated and today’s victor would be settled in the final fight. Banners swayed in the wind and people were shouting their favourite champion’s name. Stigbert and Sigvard spurred their horses and approached each other in an appalling speed. The well known sound of shattering wood was heard when Stigbert’s lance hit Sigvard’s shield and threw him off the horse. Stigbert was thereby today’s winner. A short silence was broken by the people’s ovations.
When “Stigbert” removed his helmet and was identified as the Prince the ovations increased to a deafening thunder. It was intoxicating and Alexander wished that this moment could last forever. He was finally old enough to participate in the games at the jousting field. It had, however, been a bit complicated in the beginning. As soon as it became known that he was one of the participants, other participants usually withdraw because of the risk to injure a royalty. He suspected that the few participants that had courage enough to meet him didn’t do their best but gave the victory to him. Therefore he often chose to compete under disguise as he had today. Although he had done well in previous tournaments this was the first time that he had won a final under disguise. It was one of the best moments of his life and he wanted to remember the feeling forever.
Queen Cecilia was not very enthusiastic about Alexander’s participation in the jousting tournaments. King Magnus was, however, of the opinion that it was important for the future king to demonstrate his bravery. There was no doubt that Alexander’s success and sportsmanship increased the royal family’s popularity.
As people became more and more adjusted to see Alexander as a competitor he found that the fear to harm him because of his royalty diminished. It became possible to compete under his real identity. Today he wore his family’s colours. His cousin Erik would participate in the same tournament. The rumours about Erik’s success in the jousting field and his popularity had reached also Alexander but he had not seen Erik since he went to the Elven realm.
“Hi cousin nice too meet you, Alexander said.”
“Hi little Prince. Nice to see you too. I’m glad that you haven’t turned into an elf. I look forward to look down on your face when I throw you out of the saddle in the final.” Erik laughed and patted Alexander hard but friendly on the back.
“I’m sorry that I have to disappoint you cousin, but you will look up to my face.” Alexander smiled. He liked his cousin best of all his friends. People were drawn to Erik because it was almost always fun to be around him. He could often be found in the centre of a laughing crowd. Not everyone liked Erik unreservedly, however. Father’s and husbands who had heard about him kept an extra eye on their daughters and wives when he was nearby.
Erik had been at least partly right. They both made it to the final. Although Erik had won several glorious victories in the jousting field they had never met in a tournament before. Erik had always been the better of them when they had practiced martial arts together. For a fraction of a second Alexander saw the surprise in Erik’s eyes when his lance hit hard against Erik’s shield. Erik was thrown out of the saddle and hit the ground with a hard thump.
“You did well, congratulations, little Prince.” Erik bowed for Alexander. He moved stiffly. Luckily he had not been seriously injured but he had hit the ground hard. There was something in Erik’s eyes that disturbed Alexander despite the polite phrases and the wry smile.
|22nd Jan 2011, 11:40 PM||Chapter 17. Bear #22|
“Thorundur seemed to enjoy the visit to the palace but now he’s running around in the forest with that girl just like before.” Toraldor felt helpless. He loved his brother and therefore he also worried very much about Thorundur’s behaviour.
His wife Liandra looked thoughtful. “I think I might have an idea. Thorundur seemed to like Aliendre very much. According to what I have heard Aliendre would like to travel a little to look around in the realm. Maybe we could ask if she could stay here with us for a while. It would be a great honour for us of course but I think that it might be possible that our offer would be accepted.”
“I have good news Thorundur. Aliendre will come and visit us.” Toraldor smiled when he saw his younger brother’s enthusiasm. Thorundur was so lively and his feelings were always so easy to tell. Once again Toraldor felt very lucky to have such a wise wife. If Toraldor would have had the gift to look into the future he would probably not have felt the happiness that he felt today. It is often true that ignorance is a blessing.
Wolf looked up from the skin that he was preparing. His eyes were large and his mouth wide open. Roe turned her head and looked in the same direction as her father. Bear, Wolverine and Squirrel were approaching their home.
“We were just passing by and thought that Roe might like this basket that Bear made.” Squirrel said.
Forest people never “just passed by”. It was obvious that Bear’s family had walked all the way from their home just to give Roe a gift. There was a skilfully prepared deer skin and a hunting knife in the basket. This was a very generous gift indeed. Too generous, Roe thought. The elders sent Roe and Bear to get some roots to eat with the meat that they would share for dinner. Obviously they wanted Bear and Roe to spend time alone together.
When the visitors had left Wolf sat down to speak with Roe. “Bear thinks that it’s too long to wait for the next meeting to be joined with you. He would like you to be joined already this autumn, and I cannot see any reason to delay.”
Roe looked down. “I don’t know if I really want to have Bear as my spouse at all”
Wolf lowered his eyebrows and looked as if he tried to understand such a strange statement. “You cannot expect to get a better husband. He’s an excellent hunter and strong. You’re old enough to start your own family.”
Roe knew that there was really nothing wrong at all with Bear. He was kind and skilful. He had only one fault, but that fault was very big… he was not Thorundur. As if he had heard her thoughts Wolf hesitated and said, “I should probably have talked with you about this a long time ago Roe, but I hope that you don’t have any fantasies about the elf. He can never be your husband.”
“Why?” Roe wished immediately that she had not asked. She had not meant to reveal her feelings about Thorundur.
“An elf can never be happy with one of our people and you would never be happy with an elf. They are different from us in many ways. Most importantly they are immortal. You will grow old while he will remain the same. The elf will never choose you. He will marry an Elven girl one day.”
Roe was hurt. She needed to be alone. Thorundur liked her. She was his best friend. Somehow it had to be possible to make him feel about her as she did about him. She couldn’t accept what Wolf had said. Her parents, Bear and his parents expected her to be joined with Bear before winter but her heart felt as if it would break when she thought about a life without Thorundur.
Thorundur had decided that he wanted a bear skin. I was early spring but he had seen fresh paw prints outside a male bear’s den and figured that the bear had wakened early. Roe thought that the idea to hunt a bear at this time of the year was stupid. It would be skinny and hungry but she had more important things on her mind and had not objected. Roe was walking in her own thoughts because she had decided that she would tell Thorundur about her feelings for him. It frightened her but she couldn’t see that she had much to loose anymore. Suddenly a deep roar broke the peacefulness and Roe realised that she had been unforgivable careless to get lost in her own thoughts like this.
Thorundur was running with an angry and wounded bear after him. His eyes were glowing, and there was a big smile on his lips. It was obvious that he was enjoying himself. Whatever strange plan Thorundur might have had to get himself a bear skin was ruined when he fell over a root.
The enraged bear rose on its hind legs. Thorundur was lying helpless on his stomach and Roe realised with horror that there was no chance in the world that she would be able to get to him in time. Her scream echoed in the forest.
|27th Jan 2011, 8:36 PM||Chapter 18. Roe Thanks the Forest #23|
The short time it took for the bear to turn its head to look at the screaming Roe was all that Thorundur needed. Quickly he turned around, and when the bear bent over him the spear went deep into its body. Blood and saliva splashed over Thorundur and the bear fell down dead as a stone.
“That was fun Roe.”
The joy Roe had felt when she realised that Thorundur hadn’t been harmed gave way for another feeling when she saw the stupid elf’s glowing cheeks and bright smile. She had almost been scared to death and he sat there smiling as if it all had been something very fun. “How could you be so stupid Thorundur?!”
“Come on Roe, everything’s all right. I have my bear skin.” He was still smiling.
“You’re completely crazy Thorundur. You know that, don’t you?”
“That’s why you like me so much Roe, because you’re just as crazy as I am. You know exactly how much alive you feel after having almost faced death.”
Roe understood exactly how exhilarated Thorundur felt now. She also loved to test her limits and danger did make her feel alive. But she had not enjoyed the feeling when Thorundur had been in danger. The few seconds when she thought that he would die had been the worst time of her life.
“You could have died and then you wouldn’t have felt anything at all.” Roe wasn’t going to let Thorundur get away easy.
“But I’m alive, very much alive. You should have more confidence in your big brother Roe.” He was still smiling and now he was teasing her.
“You’re not my big brother.”
“I’m older than you Roe, so yes I am.”
Roe picked up a cone and threw it as hard as she could at Thorundur. He swerved and laughed. “I like you too Roe.” She gave up and laughed with him.
“I think my tunic is ruined.”
“That serves you right, you crazy elf.” Roe smiled but then her face became serious. “We must not forget to thank the Forest,” she said. She did the ceremony with great consideration and Thorundur accompanied her. For once he was serious and he performed the ceremony thoroughly. He made Roe feel proud because he had learned well.
"I will not be able to see you for a while. Princess Aliendre is arriving tomorrow and I’m supposed to accompany her.”
Roe thought that it wouldn’t have hurt if Thorundur had looked sad about not seeing her for a while. She would have to tell Thorundur how she felt about him later because she did not have enough courage today after all. This day had already been frightening enough.
“Maybe I can bring Aliendre with me to visit you. I don’t think that she has met any one from the Forest people before. You will like her, everyone does. She’s so beautiful and wise.”
Roe had a feeling that she might not like Aliendre at all.
|28th Jan 2011, 8:03 AM||#24|
I really like the pictures and the way you're telling the story. Please, keep up the good work. *impatiently waits for a new update*
|5th Feb 2011, 9:22 PM||Chapter 19. King Magnus has Plans for Alexander's Future #25|
“Two large beers please,” Ragnar slurred.
The maid hesitated, it was obvious that the two guests had already had more than enough but she also wanted the tip she might get so finally she came back with two large well filled goblets.
Ragnar took a gulp and put down his goblet on the table. He was not very steady on his hands so beer slopped out of the goblet forming large puddles on the table but he didn’t seem to notice. “I think you’re just making this up,” Ragnar said to his newly found friend.
“No, I swear, I have just returned from Hrafninlandi. It’s a vveerryy secret mission for Count Birger.” Valdemar waved his hand in the air to emphasize his words while he tried to keep his gaze steady at Ragnar.
Ragnar laughed. “Sure, and I’m the King’s counselor.”
Valdemar looked hurt. “Look here’s a letter with King Knut’s seal.” He concentrated hard to pronounce the words right but didn’t succeed very well. Valdemar had barely finished the sentence when his head fell down on the table and he started to snore loudly. Ragnar put money on the table, got up and went out on surprisingly steady legs. The maid though that she’d never seen a guest sober up so quickly before. When she picked up the money Ragnar had left she found that the tip had been generous enough.
While Alexander enjoyed his victories in the jousting field, his father was busy preparing for Alexander’s succession to the throne. Although the throne was usually inherited by the son of the last king this was not always granted. People could choose any king they wanted if they decided that they didn’t have confidence in the king’s heir and there was always the risk that someone could become powerful enough to dare to challenge the current king. This had caused several armed conflicts in the kingdom’s history. Therefore it was of utmost importance to have as much support and as strong allies as possible. “People” in this aspect of course only meant free men, and in reality only the most powerful families could really influence the choice of a king. The election of the king as such was mostly a formal ceremony where the candidate already one way or another had gathered enough support to ensure the outcome.
A knock on the door disturbed the silence in the study. Magnus raised an eyebrow and said “Come in.” Ragnar one of Magnus’ counsellors stepped in looking worried.
“There’s no doubt about it anymore,” Ragnar said. “According to our spies and my own investigations Birger is increasing his contacts with King Knut of Hrafninlandi. I saw Knut’s seal with my own eyes.”
“We cannot just sit and watch them become allies. With King Knut’s support Birger and his sons might very well dare to challenge Alexander when it is time to elect the next king. We have to do something about it to ensure Alexander’s succession after me.”
“Luckily King Knut’s daughter, Alde, is in a suitable age. If Alexander were to marry her King Knut and his sons would most likely support Alexander and neither Birger nor Karl would dare to challenge his right to the throne.
“I want you to start negotiations immediately.” King Magnus wasted no time for considerations.
Ragnar twisted his hands and looked down. “Don’t you think you should talk to Alexander first?”
“Why? We have no time to loose. I don’t want one of Alexander’s cousins to marry Alde first. Maybe that’s already Birger’s plan. Alexander will understand that his duty is to do what’s best for the kingdom. A conflict about the throne would cause much harm.”
“You look worried; let me massage your back to ease your tense.” Queen Cecilia looked tenderly at her husband.
“Oh please, you’re so good to me. I hope that Alexander’s marriage will be as happy as mine.” Magnus smiled warmly but then he made a grimace of pain and he clenched his teeth while he bent forward with his hand on his stomach.
“Is it bad?” Cecilia tried to keep calm but couldn’t hide that she was deeply worried.
“It will pass soon.”
“Don’t you think you should tell Alexander about this? It has been often lately.”
“No, he shouldn’t worry about me. He has other things to concentrate on. We must not show weakness. I’m fine now.”
“Princess Alde is said to be charming and very beautiful. You will be lucky to have her as your queen.”
Alexander looked down at the ground. “What about love?”
“What did you say?”
“I said I’m sure that she’s lovely.”
“I expect you to do your best to find her lovely. This match is very important and can be the difference between war and peace in this country. Needless to say it can also be the difference between life and death for you one day in the future.”
Alexander felt trapped. How good it must be to be an ordinary person without the duties of a crown prince. His duty was to marry a suitable princess and to hopefully have a son who could inherit the throne one day. Maybe Aliendre would come to celebrate his first son’s first birthday? It would be nice if he could see her again. How odd that the only happiness he could feel about his future marriage was that he might see Aliendre again. Maybe the princess that had been chosen for him would make the memory of Aliendre fade away. But he doubted that. His youthful and naïve imagination that he would one day fall deeply in love and marry because of this love had been completely dispelled. How stupid it had been of him to have such fantasies. Hadn’t he always known that his life would be dedicated to fulfil his duties?